Alternative to new police station

To the editor:

In light of the recent announcement from Senator Collins of the congressionally directed spending request of $2.5 million to renovate and expand a facility for the Caribou Police Department, I would like to offer an alternate idea to the taxpayers of Caribou. 

Offering alternative ideas at the council level to solve the needs of our community has been fruitless. The only answer, the majority of the council would have you believe, is to build a $10 million new police station. 

Alternative No. 1:  City administration offices are in need of a different floor plan, a plan that would allow for more and better parking, accessibility to the building and allow for better handicap accessibility.  Move the city administration offices to a building meeting these requirements. Renovate the existing city office building for the police department’s use, using the proposed $2.5 million. 

I know you’ve been told that the city office building will not work.  There are citizens who feel it will. It has worked for years and it can continue to work for many more with a $2.5 million investment. What better location to have a central point between our schools for fast response in these worrisome times? What better way to help preserve our historical buildings?  

There are other alternatives to spending $10 million for a brand-new police station. I am asking the Caribou taxpayers to vote no on question 4, to allow the expenditure of a $10 milion police station. Let’s explore the alternatives first. 

I am also asking the Caribou taxpayers to vote yes on question #3 that would require a simple majority of 65 percent of the registered voters of Caribou to place a vote one way or the other, to allow the council to spend more than the $500,000 that the charter allows them to spend without taxpayers’ permission.  

Doug Morrell

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